9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2013 6:04 PM by baltwo
snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I know there are two files on my hard drive called prefs.js.  They are in my users library.

 

Why can't Spotlight find them?


iMac - Intel based, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 4 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive
  • 1. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    Francine Schwieder Level 6 Level 6 (19,040 points)

    Because a default Spotlight search does not display results from locations considered to contain "system files"--and that includes your home ~/Library. You need to bring up the full search window with Command-F, then use the drop down menus to tell it to include system files. More detailed instructions are here:

     

    http://www.pinkmutant.com/articles/Leopard/leospot.html

     

    The differences between Leopard and Snow Leopard are noted in bold.

    Francine

  • 2. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Follow up:

     

    I stumbledd onto a similar question, it appears Spotlight by default does not check system files.  NOT WHAT I WANT!!!!!

     

    I want Spotlight to search all locations, every time, without setting specific parameters each time.

     

    Can that be set permanently, and how do I do it?

     

     

    Despite this new "look and feel", I still hate forums, and it doesn't seem to work any better.  I use Google and Ask.com instead of coming here.  :-( 

  • 3. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apparently, there's no way to make these additional search criteria permanent?

     

    A lot of the time, I'm looking for a particular file name, and I don't know what the file does/is.  Limiting the search to just certain areas is.... limiting!   

     

    It's also why I have my Windows computers set to search hidden files and folders.

     

    If there's no way to set Spotlight permanently, do you have any recommendations for a utility that will do it?  Preferably Open Source?

     

     

    Now, to see if I can get this goofy forum to stop sending me email notifications of everything except this thread. 

  • 4. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    mamanogabriel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It might be really late to answers this, but is better late than never. I am also frustrated with this (dis)hability to search in Mac. Apple prefers to do money selling songs and games rather to fix something that all the people asume works from the start.

     

    Searching for your file names that YOU know they exists is quiet a problem.

    Option A) Re index your hard drive. Look for the spotlight preferences and click on the "Privacy" tab. Then drag in your entire hard drive. Then, remove your hard disk clicking on the minus sign. Close your preferences. This will reindex your files into spotlight. After finishing reindexing, do your search again.

     

    Option B) Do a simple search doing cmd+F. By default you will see little tabs below the Search title. Mine shows KIND is ANY. Click on the KIND tab and choose OTHER at the bottom, there it will appear a huge range of criteria to add for your searches. You might be able to look even into sysntem files.

     

    Option D) (Recommended) Forget about Apple at all! Download this free app called EasyFind It is in the Freeware section (http://www.devontechnologies.com/download/products.html) This app looks EVERYWHERE. I been using this for years. It can even look for invisible files. Hope this helps.

  • 5. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    seventy one Level 6 Level 6 (8,990 points)

    To sort out your notifications, read and follow Frank's suggestions. 

     

    Stopping emails from ASC: Apple Support Communities

     

    To find files use 'Easy Find' as mentioned above.  Excellent App.    Find any File is a good alternative that carries a small cost but can be bought from the App store.

  • 6. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    mamanogabriel wrote:

     

    It might be really late to answers this, but is better late than never. I am also frustrated with this (dis)hability to search in Mac. Apple prefers to do money selling songs and games rather to fix something that all the people asume works from the start.

     

    Searching for your file names that YOU know they exists is quiet a problem.

    Option A) Re index your hard drive. Look for the spotlight preferences and click on the "Privacy" tab. Then drag in your entire hard drive. Then, remove your hard disk clicking on the minus sign. Close your preferences. This will reindex your files into spotlight. After finishing reindexing, do your search again.

     

    Option B) Do a simple search doing cmd+F. By default you will see little tabs below the Search title. Mine shows KIND is ANY. Click on the KIND tab and choose OTHER at the bottom, there it will appear a huge range of criteria to add for your searches. You might be able to look even into sysntem files.

     

    Option D) (Recommended) Forget about Apple at all! Download this free app called EasyFind It is in the Freeware section (http://www.devontechnologies.com/download/products.html) This app looks EVERYWHERE. I been using this for years. It can even look for invisible files. Hope this helps.

    What happened to Option C??????  

     

    I paid for a copy of Find Any File, as suggested by seventy one.

  • 7. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    mamanogabriel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I forgot!!!! lol

  • 8. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    dlraff56 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I have never had satisfactory results with the find feature of any version of Mac OS.

    I also downloaded EasyFind - it's the only thing I use now. It's simple, straightforward, and always finds what I'm searching for.

  • 9. Re: Spotlight doesn't find files
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,120 points)

    So does this savedSearch, which still might not find all system files.

     

    Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 18.03.03 PM.png